Tennessee football: Jeremy Pruitt fires defensive line coach

The 2020 football season is not what anyone had in mind. Players and coaches have to wear masks, stadiums are not full capacity and some programs are still struggling even well into the season. Tennessee football is no exception. The Volunteers started their season off undefeated until the Georgia game. Now, the Vols are 2-3 on the season and turned their winning streak into a three-game losing streak.

To add on to the derailing train, also known as the Tennessee Volunteers season, head coach Jeremy Pruitt fired defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Brumbaugh after the unexpected loss to Kentucky.

About Jimmy Brumbaugh

Brumbaugh attended Auburn University beginning in 1995. He played football for the Tigers from 1995-1999, where he played defensive end and earned the honor of being named to the All-SEC team numerous times in his collegiate career.

Brumbaugh went on to play in the XFL after college from 2000-2003. He retired from playing football after his last season in 2003 and decided to begin his coaching career.

After coaching at numerous colleges (Jacksonville State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, LSU, Louisiana Tech, Syracuse, and Kentucky, Maryland and Colorado), Brumbaugh joined the Tennessee Volunteers as the co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for the 2020 football season. Tennessee football welcomed Brumbaugh this offseason when Pruitt decided not to bring back Tracy Rocker as a coach for the defensive line.

The first time Brumbaugh coached in his orange and white resulted in a victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks. Then a week later, the team defeated the Missouri Tigers. All was right with Tennessee football.

Then Tennessee played Georgia. This game marked the beginning of the Volunteers’ downfall, but it was really the next game against Kentucky that pushed Pruitt to his breaking point.

The loss to Kentucky was absolutely embarrassing. It marked Kentucky’s first win against Tennessee since 1984. I can’t say I am surprised Pruitt changed his coaching staff, but I am amazed it came from the defensive line.

Brumbaugh coached his last Tennessee football game that Saturday, marking only his fourth game as a Volunteer. He signed a two-year $650,000 contract with Tennessee, which was supposed to last through January 2022.

Who will be the new coach?

For now, Pruitt has taken over the position. In the first game with Pruitt coaching the defensive line, there was not much of a change. Tennessee still lost the game and gave up nearly 600 yards to Alabama.

Will the Vols try to find a new coach to finish the season?

The answer to that is no, according to Pruitt.

“It’s something that we’re going to do when the season’s over with,” Pruitt said on the SEC teleconference. “I like where our defensive line is headed right now. Obviously I wasn’t happy with that position and I felt like we improved last week, not that I know that it showed on the field all the time, but we obviously in my opinion probably played against the best offensive line that we’ve played this year. But watching the first two days of practice this week, I continue to see it.”

Hopefully Pruitt is confident in what he said. He has the bye week to hone in on the defense and the offense. Because let’s be honest, Tennessee football can improve on both sides of the ball.